Borneo Nature Foundation: Protecting Borneo’s Biodiversity

Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF, previously the Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop)) works to protect some of the most important areas of tropical rainforest in Borneo, including the peat swamps of Sabangau, home to the world’s largest orangutan population. We monitor the behavioural ecology of the forest’s flagship ape and cat species, carry out biodiversity and forestry research, and work with our local partners to develop conservation solutions and improve capacity for conservation in the region. BNF’s biodiversity monitoring research is leading the field in tropical forest biodiversity studies in Kalimantan. Our records stretch back from 1995 and cover almost all major animal groups (from mammals, birds and reptiles, to butterflies and ants), representing the most extensive dataset available for Kalimantan’s peat-swamp forest. Following the devastating forest fires which engulfed Borneo and Sumatra in 2015, combined with ongoing habitat degradation and hunting has resulted in the Bornean orangutan has been up listed to Critically Endangered. BNF is working to understand Asian ape population dynamics, to protect and restore critical habitat and work to raise awareness in Indonesia and around the world.

Pangolins, in general, face threats due to illegal hunting and wildlife trade as their meat is sought after, and their scales are valued for medicinal purposes. Pangolins confiscated within Indonesia are often already dead but any live animals are often inappropriately released into the wild, or are sold back into the trade. While the current population status of the pangolin is unknown, the scale of pangolin trade represents a major conservation risk for the animal.

BNF works to raise awareness in Indonesian Borneo as well as contributing data to understand the trade routes and population status of this elusive species.BNF has a focus on communities, conservation and appplied research on flagship species inclding orangutans, gibbons, red langurs, clouded leopards, bay cats, sun bears, pangolins and other biodiversity.

To protect the unique Sungai Wain Forest and its rich lowland biodiversity from fires, encroachment, and poaching by enabling community forest ranger patrolling, East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo

This project is focused on management and protection of the Sungai Wain Protection Forest (SWPF) in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. This is a relatively small (ca 10,000 ha) but vitally important forest area as it supplies about 25% of the freshwater needs of Balikpapan [ca 700.000 inhabitants, the 4th largest city on Borneo), including all fresh water for the Pertamina oil refinery. It is currently the last example of primary lowland rainforest in the wider area. Sungai Wain is home most Bornean lowland rainforest species, including many endemics (all 5 of Borneo\’s cat species, including the endemic Bay Cat; all 8 hornbill species, including the Critically Endangered Helmeted Hornbill; 9 primate species including a population of orangutans reintroduced in the 1990\’s and viable populations of 4 endemic primate species [Proboscis monkeys, Mueller\’s Gibbons, Red leaf monkeys, White-fronted leaf monkey; Sun bears [the first ever wild population that was studied]; rare endemic birds such as the Bornean ground cuckoo and Peacock pheasant). In addition, more than 30 tree species found in this lowland forest are listed as Critically Endangered. Recently 1,385 ha of forest in an adjacent watershed was added as an extension to the SWPF and one of our aims is to further expand the protected area network to reconnect SWPF to other forest patches through corridor development.
Threats to the SWPF primarily consist of forest fires during periods of drought, encroachment and deforestation by immigrants and increased poaching pressure of mammals and birds. Pro Natura focuses on strengthening management of this unique lowland forest through 3 key components: protecting the forest and its fauna from poaching, logging, encroachment and prevention of forest fires through active community patrols; monitoring health of key species populations and regeneration of burned over forest; raising conservation support through awareness and education.